Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Better Man

Both Sara's and my own family is fairly close in proximity, only about an hour drive from any one member, but at times (as with a lot of families) proximity and closeness are two different things.

When I first was released from the hospital in 2008 with the diagnosis of Epilepsy, I felt this uncontrollable need to apologize to Sara for any absence she'd experienced from me. I looked at the years prior and saw a man who was always looking into the future, with my desire to become a successful photojournalist while keeping my graphic design talent in my back pocket. I thought I could do great work and see great things beyond what I saw every day, and I think that included my home life. I always loved Sara and our families but I don't think I had may list of priorities in the right order.

I'd like to think that I would've had this realization without getting sick, but the reality is it coincided exactly to the minute with my first seizure. My trouble in the following years was my inability to properly mourn the man I could've been and embrace the man I've become... by all means, a better man.

My Dad always says there's adventure in everything and I think I've come to understand that concept. This illness has been an extremely difficult ride but an adventure none the less; and with this adventure I gained a renewed relationship with my family, a girlfriend has become a wife, and an empty home is now full. 

Let the adventure continue...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Akathisia, Twitter

Akathisia is severe restlessness; it's a side effect of Abilify, which is for the depression caused by my seizure medication. For Akathisia, one of my doctors prescribed Propranolol. Notice a pattern? I'm supposed to take it "when needed" but it's been hard trying to notice when I need it or really need it. 

I took it just before sitting down to write because I found myself pacing throughout my apartment, I just can't sit and concentrate on a book or movie. I'm feeling it kick in now because I'm able to focus on the keyboard as I type and not on the thousand different sounds going on around me... a truck passing, a man talking on his phone, a dog barking far off in the distance.

I feel like I should've had this kind of medication at my disposal even before I was on Abilify; when I worked as a designer and had to sit at a desk and concentrate on my craft. I know this is a short term fix but right now, I'm able to think clearly and about what I want.

This past week I re-entered Twitter to see if I could find any other Epilepsy patients that I could get support from. It turns out (not unexpectedly) that there are many of us with the same intentions. I found myself "following" many different people, from different countries, backgrounds, and beliefs, but with one stark similarity... Epilepsy has changed their life as it has mine.

Another amazing discovery... a healthy portion of them use blogs and podcasts to bring their message to the world. Now, I find myself reading their stories as they read mine. I mentioned in a tweet that it's been a long time, possibly the first time, since I've spoken to anyone about my life with seizures that hasn't been a doctor, close friend or family member. 

My doctors have been pushing me to join some sort of support group, but it's not as easy for me to speak these words as it is to write them and get a response. I'm simply not ready to use my voice.